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ISLAMABAD: As the Pakistani government and military were part of the deal that led to the resignation of former President Pervez Musharraf and his subsequent departure from Pakistan, Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) move to seek his trial in absentia in Benazir murder case is being seen as a political gimmick.
Critics point out that since the international powers had facilitated the deal; the Interpol is not issuing the red warrants, causing the delay in his trial.
Doubt has been cast that FIA officials had fulfilled all the formalities to get the red warrants for Musharraf issued.
According to the sources, under Sub-section 10 of Section 19 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997, the prosecution agency can request the court to try a fugitive in his absence.
Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam advocate, a former protocol officer of Benazir Bhutto, claimed that being party in the deal the government was also reluctant to bring Musharraf back to the country.
He also claimed that they had prepared a weak case against the former president in which he could easily be acquitted.
Aslam had also got a second FIR in this case registered against Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Senator Babar Awan and others.
The aide of the slain PPP leader said the government wanted to use the trial of Gen Musharraf in absentia as an election stunt, since it could not justify Benazir’s murderers being still at large.
Bhutto and 23 other people were killed in a bomb attack outside Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007.
The FIA in February 2, 2012, had sent a request to the Interpol through its secretary general based at Lyon (France), seeking issuance of the red warrants for Musharraf.
The Interpol, however, in September, 2012 rejected the FIA request. It claimed that Musharraf was a political personality and asked the FIA to provide more tangible proofs as the available evidence was not sufficient to process the case against Musharraf.
FIA special prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, when contacted, said that this was the first time in the history of the Interpol that it was asking for what it called ‘tangible evidence’ from a prosecution agency for issuing the red warrants. Internews